Hazard analysis and critical control points

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Hazard analysis and critical control points , and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points ( English hazard analysis and critical control points , abbreviated HACCP ) is a quality tool for production and handling of food is designed. It is clearly structured and geared towards preventive measures. The concept serves to avoid dangers in connection with food, which can lead to illness or injury to consumers.


The concept was developed in 1959 when the American group The Pillsbury Company was commissioned by the space agency NASA to produce space-suitable food for astronauts that should be one hundred percent safe. Pillsbury applied the FMEA methodology created by the US military for technical applications in 1949 to the food industry and further developed this preventive concept together with NASA. In 1971 it was published in the USA as the HACCP concept. In 1985 the US National Academy of Sciences recommended using the concept; it was then tested and further developed worldwide. The Codex Alimentarius , published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) , has also recommended the use of the concept since 1993.


The principles of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) quality tool are as follows:

  1. Perform a hazard analysis
    Establishing plans for identifying food hazards and countermeasures that can prevent these hazards. A hazard can be any physical, chemical or biological property that makes food consumption dangerous for humans.
  2. Identification of the control points that are critical for the safety of the food
    A critical control point is a point, step or procedure in the entire food production process at which controls are possible in order to prevent, eliminate or reduce a hazard from the food to a tolerable level.
  3. Determination of intervention limits at the respective critical control points
    A critical action limit is the maximum or minimum value for which physical, chemical or biological hazards must be checked in order to avert, eliminate or reduce a hazard to a tolerable level.
  4. Establishing appropriate monitoring procedures at the critical control points
    Monitoring or continuous observation is necessary so that the process is under control at every critical point. The monitoring procedure and frequency should be recorded in the HACCP plan.
  5. Establishing corrective actions in the event of discrepancies
    The necessary steps in the event that the specified limit values ​​are exceeded or not reached must be specified. The aim is to ensure that no food that does not comply with the required limit values ​​enters the consumption cycle.
  6. Establishing evaluation measures to check the efficiency of the defined HACCP system
    The evaluation measures of the HACCP system serve to permanently guarantee the goals of safe food production. The entire HACCP plans, the records of the critical control points, the critical limit values, the random samples and the analyzes can be evaluated.
  7. Establishing documentation of the measures
    The principles of HACCP include that appropriate archives and documentation of the data on HACCP are kept in all food production facilities. This includes the data on the control points, the limit values, the activities for checking and evaluating and the procedure in the event of deviations.

Implementation in the EU and Germany

The HACCP concept was first anchored in German law with the Food Hygiene Ordinance of 1998. The Regulation (EC) no. 852/2004 of the European Community also provides for the application of the HACCP concept in all companies that are engaged in the production, processing and distribution of food, mandatory before.

On January 1, 2006, the EU hygiene package adopted in 2004 came into force. It decrees that only foods that meet the HACCP guidelines may be traded and imported into the Union.

Before that, all companies that produce food or handle food in any way had to have an HACCP concept. A documented version has to be available since 2006. In large companies with many hazards and high risk potential, detailed records are required; in small companies, cleaning plans, verification certificates or personnel instructions are sufficient.

When implementing the legal requirements, it is important to start with the introduction of good hygiene practice (GHP). These preventive measures (e.g. cleaning program, training program, pest control, incoming goods inspection and raw material policy) are published in guidelines by many associations for the various professional groups. The company stands on this basis and the company-specific residual risk results from the success achieved. This must be determined separately for each company in accordance with the Codex requirements (see above). This may result in critical control points that need to be managed. The GHP alone is not yet a HACCP concept.

HACCP for frozen food

The first international HACCP regulation for frozen food was passed in 1978. Since then, this regulation has also been regularly revised and improved. Special attention is paid to the fact that the requirements for a deep-freeze chain are even greater than is the case with a normal cold chain . In order to take this complexity into account, the use of time-temperature indicators was suggested in the latest appendix in 1996, along with other methods .


Independent and accredited certification bodies are responsible for certification . “Food business operators” are legally bound by regulation EG 852/2004 to “set up, implement and maintain one or more permanent procedures based on the HACCP principles”. In the European Community (EC), however, there is no obligation to certify these systems.


  • Mayer, Jürgen: "Modern HACCP". Practical application guide. 1st edition 2019; JMC publishing house. ISBN 978-3-00-061977-9
  • Markus Kölbl, Jürgen Mayer: Self-checks and HACCP in the catering industry . Series: Easy Step by Step, ISBN 978-3-9813908-0-3
  • Markus Krauß, Levke Voß: Hygiene requirements for unpackaged food in self-service counters: A contribution to the interpretation of Section 4 (2) of Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004 , in: Journal for the entire food law , ZLR 4, 2010, p. 413
  • Hans-Jürgen Sinell , Heinz Meyer: Food safety . HACCP in practice . ISBN 978-3-86022-290-4
  • Ulrike Arens-Azevedo, Heinz Joh: Reach your goal safely with HACCP! Practical help for the implementation of in-house hygiene measures and controls for quality assurance in gastronomy and communal catering . With worksheets. ISBN 978-3-87515-000-1

Individual evidence

  1. Sample documents: HACCP Description of Critical Control Points CCP - Critical Control Point - free download. In: Vorest AG. Retrieved February 23, 2018 .
  2. Summary of the document by the EU: Food safety - from producer to consumer , consolidated version of Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004 of April 29, 2004 on food hygiene

HACCP checklists for download including free sample checklists from JMC Verlag.